The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), in conjunction with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Councils), will host five workshops to gather public input on south Florida marine fisheries regulations and issues.
In 2011, an Ad Hoc Joint Committee composed of the two Councils and the FWC was formed to identify issues in south Florida and create joint management solutions. South Florida waters are managed by the FWC and the Councils. The area is also home to several species that are unique to the region. These workshops are a beginning step into examining issues that are particular to south Florida.
For example, the yellowtail snapper fishery is almost exclusively in south Florida, yet because it is managed by three different entities, its season may close to harvest in one area of south Florida, such as federal waters of the Atlantic, while remaining open in other areas, such as state waters or federal waters of the Gulf. The committee would like public input on managing yellowtail snapper on a regional basis and as a whole population instead of by state waters and Gulf and Atlantic federal waters. A similar discussion will also focus on mutton snapper.
All meetings are from 5 to 8 p.m. EDT and are as follows:
· July 29: Dania Beach, International Game Fish Association Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum, 300 Gulf Stream Way;
· July 30: Key Largo, Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center, 102050 Overseas Highway, Mile Marker 102;
· July 31: Key Colony Beach, City Hall, Auditorium, 600 W. Ocean Drive, Mile Marker 53.5;
· Aug. 1: Key West, Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman Ave., 2nd floor;
· Aug. 5: Marco Island, Marriott Beach Resort, 400 S. Collier Blvd.